but also made possible Jackson
's triumph at Harper's Ferry
In the bloody battle of September 17th, at Sharpsburg
and along Antietam creek
, there were forty Georgia
regiments, including the cavalry of Cobb
's legion with Stuart
, and six batteries; but the number of men engaged in the entire Confederate army was less than would have been brought into action by the Georgia
commands alone, if in approximately full strength.
Brigades were reduced to the dimensions of regiments, regiments to companies; but the remnant, footsore, weary and deprived of sleep, held at bay nearly three times their number, and inflicted such tremendous losses that they were permitted to return to Virginia
The slaughter was terrible among the Confederates
as well as among their opponents.
Nearly one-fourth of the Southerners who went into battle were killed or wounded.
After the artillery fighting, the battle of Sharpsburg
was opened by Hood
's brigade, under command of Col. W. T. Wofford
, Eighteenth Georgia, in front of the Dunker church, on the evening of the 16th.
About midnight the Eighteenth and the rest of the brigade, having had no regular issue of rations for three days, retired to devote the rest of the night to cooking, and their place was taken by Lawton
Just after daylight the Eighteenth lay down in line of battle under a storm of shell from the enemy's batteries, and at 7 o'clock charged under fire and drove the Federals
from the cornfield in their front, but suffered such terrible losses that their part of the work ended there.
But 75 men were left fit for duty out of 176. Lieuts. T. C. Underwood
and J. M. D. Cleveland
were killed, and among the wounded were Capts. J. A. Crawford
and G. W. Maddox
, and Lieuts. M. J. Crawford
, J. F. Maddox
, O. W. Putnam
, W. G. Calahan
, J. Grant
and D. B. Williams
At this famous point of the field (the Dunker church), Ewell
's division, under command of General Lawton